Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology, Psychodynamic Psychology Concentration in Southern California

Program Description

Psychodynamic psychology is an empirically validated approach to the study of the complex interplay between unconscious and conscious processes, and the effect those thoughts have on behavior and overall mental functioning. 

Founded by Sigmund Freud, psychodynamic psychology rests on the idea that an individual’s life experiences influence his or her unconscious and conscious beliefs and motivations—and in turn their feelings, behaviors, and overall functioning. Psychologists trained in psychodynamic approaches assist their clients in understanding the rich interplay that occurs between themselves and others, thus helping improve interpersonal skills and relational satisfaction.

The Chicago School's Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology offers a Psychodynamic Psychotherapy concentration that can be completed in just three years, including the internship requirement. Classes are offered in a flexible format suitable for working professionals. 

Applied Clinical Psychology students also may apply to complete their clinical training hours at one of our Chicago School Counseling Centers, two of Southern California's largest and most well-respected community counseling centers.

The program prepares students to enter the work force with essential diagnostic, therapeutic, and consultative skills as well as in-depth knowledge of psychodynamic theory and exposure to a broad range of dynamically based clinical applications, such as modern psychoanalysis, clinical hypnosis, dream analysis, play therapy, and others that assist the therapeutic process.


Clinical Psychology



The curriculum integrates the eight core competencies informed by the educational model of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP), and qualifies graduates to sit for the national licensure exam and licensure by the California Board of Psychology (BOP).

Total Credits


Fieldwork Requirements

800 hours of practicum; 1,500 hours of internship.

Program Time to Completion

3 years
  • Master's degree in a mental health field from a regionally accredited institution
  • Specific courses must be complete in a student's Master's program or completed as part of the Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology elective options
  • N/A
Admission Requirements


GRE Requirements

Sample Courses

Freudian Psychoanalysis and Ego Psychology

A study of the major writings of Sigmund Freud from 1895-1940. This course includes Freud's major theories, such as the drive theory, structural theory, topographic theory, and his psycho-sexual theory. Implications for present theory and practice are considered. Ego Psychology as represented by Anna Freud, Strachey, and others is also examined.

Dream Analysis

Introduction to the theory and clinical application of the technique of dream interpretation, covering contributions from Freud and Jung, to present. Dream interpretation allows the psychotherapist to understand dreams as expressions of the client's inner life. Theoretical material on dream interpretation, and dream symbols provide the background to focus on the use of dreams in clinical work.

Kleinian Psychology and Object Relations

Discover important contributions from the British School of Object Relations and more recent American authors. Focus is on primitive mental states, early infantile development, environmental influences, and the way in which these early primitive experiences are re-created with the psychodynamic psychotherapist and patient.

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